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By late Friday night it was evident that Depression #10 was not a serious threat to the Gulf Coast, so Saturday morning we hit the road and headed out to Orange Beach, Alabama. Better one night that none at all. We drove through bands of rain and sunshine to get there. We were able to frolic in the Gulf and swim in the pool. It rained repeatedly, but only for short periods. Dodging the showers was actually kind of fun, especially when we took refuge in a faux cavern while playing miniature golf.

My favorite moment was probably our moonlit stroll along the deserted beach. The clouds, the waves, the moonlight. It still staggers me to think such vistas are virtually the same as a million years ago — until you turn and see the Holiday Inn Express towering overhead.


Xy might have had a little too much boiled seafood, judging by her gastrointestinal reaction. But that didn’t stop her from hitting the beach again in the morning.

Xy at Orange Beach

I tried taking a picture of us with Xy’s cameraphone. Unfortunately it was hard to see what I was doing and get us both in the frame.

B & Xy on Orange Beach

The 14th anniversary is traditionally celebrated with gifts of ivory, but in our case we had to settle for the ivory sands of the Alabama Gulf Coast.

As my co-worker Jim pointed out, if all goes well, this will be the last anniversary we have to ourselves for many years to come. It’s also the first we’ve ever celebrated by traveling. So, I’m very glad we were able to get away, even if it was cut in half by weather worries.

Published inLife with XyPixTravel


  1. Rosy Rosy

    As avid Pensacola Beach-goers for years, here’s a tip. You can pick up those little coupon books at every gas station and convenience store between here and Pcola and they offer quite a savings on hotel rooms. We usually make a back-up reservation that we can cancel then find a cheaper room on the way!

  2. Lee Lee

    The both of you have such an interesting relationship, and that is what makes it work. You are the ying in XY’s yang – so to speak.

    The both of you have been adorable for years, and for many more years to come. I’m glad you got to enjoy your trip!

  3. Here is an excerpt from the supernatural novel, The Beatitudes, by Lyn LeJeune, now available at and all booksellers around the world. Lyn is donating ALL royalties to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation to help rebuild the public libraries of New Orleans. If you like what you read here, order the book, enjoy, and help NEW ORLEANS. (blog is come and join The Beatitudes Network – Rebuilding the Public Libraries of New Orleans) “BUY A BOOK, BUILD A LIBRARY,” AS QUOTED AT FREAKONOMICS, NEW YORK TIMES, 8/14/07.

    Again the dream: Pinch smiling, her skin glistening, her smile solemn. The pliant light of dusk folds over her body. A deep purple cloak spreads white, colors like a kaleidoscope ripples at its heart, red, blue and pale white. A hand moves out of it’s chest and swiftly, before I can wake, before I can scream, she is run through with an instrument that flares gold, blood bubbles and a whiff of vapor coils across the scene. A voice that is me but not me calls out a truth that I have known for too long: that when I wake to the soft shadows of dawn, she will be no more. They say that cops routinely dream about their partner’s death. So why should it be different for social workers? This is my dream of Pinch’s murder. It is as clear as I see myself in my bathroom mirror, in the soap and grease-encrusted mirror at work, and in the mirror that is Pinch’s eyes. I had told her about it, about how sometimes what I saw in my mind came true, how other times I just couldn’t know because it happened in places far away. She said she understood. Her grandmother had practiced voodoo. “Perhaps you’re a Gran Met. A voodoo guide or something,” she had laughed. It wasn’t until a week later that I remembered to look up the term in a history of voodoo in New Orleans. Gran Met: intermediary between the living and the dead. A priestess. Mildly shaken, I had gone to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and watched as tourists with cameras hanging from their necks scratched three Xs on Marie Laveau’s crumbling tomb. Mold and soot attached themselves to the stucco encasement no matter how often it was cleaned. Admirers and sycophants had cluttered the area with tokens, most of them trinkets that symbolized appeals for a better life. And then I heard children laughing, a sonorous but faraway tinkling, like a bewitched wind chime. There are times when we scoff at what we perceive as the irrational, brushing away stentorian alarms; and we pay dearly for that foolish action. I had done that most of my life, hushing the voices that begged for validation, closing my eyes to the pulsating shapes that followed me. As I surveyed the gaggle of tourists on that now far away day, I saw no children. Gran Met with two souls, one the gros bon ange which gives her the will to live and survive and connects her to the living and should she wish, if good works are done, she may return, I guess be reincarnated, for a better life. Soul number two: our personality, the face we see in the mirror, our earthly essence: ti bon ange. I walked away shaking my head and thinking perhaps it was time I paid another visit to the department’s psychiatrist. I had watched my mother sit at our kitchen table talking to people who were not there, soothing their fears, understanding their pain. The year before she died, she stared at me as though I had become air; the night she died, I was but a ghost in her life. My mother died a madwoman and that was something I never wanted to tell Pinch. Better a voodoo princess than the madwoman of New Orleans.
    I woke on the first morning of my suspension just as the sun crested the rim of the world. City noises reverberated and called the people to work. But I would not answer the call today. I dressed quickly, washed, pulled on my boots and headed out for coffee and a big breakfast. I stumbled along Royal Street, sensing rather than seeing my trilling reflection in the show windows. Antiques, shadow, paintings, shadow, an undulating form sparkling. I stopped abruptly, turned, and looked at the glass. I hadn’t realized that I had dressed in complete black. A black turtle neck sweater, black jeans, black leather boats with steel toes. My face was devoid of makeup; my skin was pallid, as though a vampire had taken my substance during the night. I turned sideways; I had become almost stick-like except for my protruding breasts. A very tall form moved into the picture, an older man some two heads above me with a mane of white hair. Some doll, uh? He asked. I turned, fully expecting to have it out with him, but there was no one there.
    I finally made it to Café du Monde and sat as far away from others that I could get, against a wall that hedged on an embankment. Beyond the embankment was the Mississippi River; already horns from freighters split and cracked the air, gulls circled overhead in search of garbage. In front of me, I could see St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square amassed with tourists, vendors and natives heading for work. A young man approached me and I bought a Times-Picayune, knowing my face would be spread across the front page. I waited for my espresso and beignets before opening the paper, before confronting the fact that I had been made a fall guy in the press.

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